Why You Need To Use A Pain Letter

What is a Pain Letter say?

A Pain Letter is modern interpretation of the traditional CV cover letter, although it’s a lot more specific than a traditional cover letter. The Pain Letter addresses the hiring manager individually, about their specific business ‘Pain’ – that part of their business that causes a problem. If there were no pain, there wouldn’t be a job opening!

Ideally the Pain Letter will be just one page, stapled to your one or two page CV, which should be sent directly to the hiring manager desk the old-fashioned way, through the mail, or at worst to their direct email address.

There are 4 parts to a Pain Letter:

  1. The Hook

    You’re going to open your letter with a compliment or “Congratulations” that specifically mentions something cool the company has done recently.

    You may find your hook in the News or Press Releases section of the company’s website. Pick something you’d be proud of if you were the hiring manager you’re writing to. Here’s an example of a hook:

    “Dear Employer,
    I want to congratulate you, The Company and all employees for your recent success.
    The award for Sussex Business of The Year, is a reflection of management excellence and the professional dedication of all staff …”

  2. The Hypothesis

    No matter how successful a business is, there are flaws, and for every up-side there will be a down-side. That’s natural. Here’s an example of a Hypothesis:

    “I am certain that with your rapid expansion, your distribution department will be under increasing pressure …”

  3. The Dragon Slayer

    Now you have the opportunity to explain how, when you were faced with a similar problem, you solved it.

    “At My Last Company, we were faced with a similar dilemma. As Distribution Manager, I developed a programme in which we reduced storage requirements, repurposed warehouse space and restructured shift rotas. Through this programme we reduced our department budget by 3% and increased our turnover by 17%, a company saving of £330,000.”

    You’ve just slayed The Dragon!

  4. The Closing

    Close your letter by offering to meet with the employer to discuss how you can help them.

    “If you have the need for a Distributions Manager, I would love to learn more about the Company and tell you more about how I could help you.

    Best regards,


You’re done! Keeping your Pain Letter short and to-the-point is crucial. More than half a page may bore the reader.  Good Luck.

Tells us about your experience with a Pain Letter.

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